Florence Parly remains combative. The minister of the armed guard “still hopeful” of convincing the belgian government to buy fighter aircraft Rafale, despite the hostility shown to the French offer of the belgian minister of Defense Steven Vandeput. “I have always been hopeful and I am very determined, because if the minister of Defence of belgium does, in fact, is not expressed in favour of this proposal, it has nevertheless indicated that it was the belgian government to take this decision,” said Florence Parly on the radio France inter. “This means that the game is still open”, she estimated.
“Between a u.s. offer and a british offer with the prospect of Brexit as we know, it is true that the european construction would be better if the founders of the european Union endorsed the european acquisitions”, she argued.
Belgium needs to buy 34 new fighter jets to replace its fleet of F-16 american 40-year-old market, which is estimated at 3.6 billion euros. The Rafale of Dassault Aviation is competing with the F-35 from us Lockheed Martin, presented as the favorite, and the Typhoon from european consortium Eurofighter. The final decision from Brussels is expected in the course of 2018.
France is proposing a strategic partnership in-depth
Unlike its competitors, who have responded to the call for tenders, France has proposed that the contract be done in the framework of an agreement state-to-State, including measures of cooperation. In this context, Florence Parly, has proposed to his belgian colleague Steven Vandeput “the establishment of a closer partnership” between the two countries, “to meet the needs expressed by the belgian air force”, had explained at the beginning of September the ministry of the Armed forces in a press release. France proposed a “partnership structure”, which could take the form of an intergovernmental agreement.
According to the French ministry, and this partnership would include the provision of the Burst. More specifically, the Belgium would take part in the definition of the standard of combat aircraft habs and upgrades of the device. This partnership also includes “in-depth cooperation between our two air forces in the operational areas, training and support, as well as industrial cooperation and technical involving companies of the two countries”. But for the belgian minister of Defence, Steven Vandeput, Belgium would be subject to “judicial proceedings”, taking into account the French offer, made outside the framework of the call for tenders. “It is up to the government to decide the action to be taken,” he said.